After Hobby Lobby Win, Obama Wants Congress to Pass New Contraception Law (Video)
Posted at 1:47 p.m. on June 30, 2014
D.C. resident Leslie Ford attends a Hobby Lobby rally outside the Supreme Court. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Congress should act to restore insurance coverage of contraception benefits after Hobby Lobby’s big win in the Supreme Court, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters Monday.
Earnest said the decision jeopardizes the health of women by depriving them of federally mandated benefits for contraceptive services, and said the president doesn’t believe that bosses at for-profit companies should be able to impose their beliefs on the benefits provided to their employees.
“Congress needs to take action to solve this problem that’s been created,” Earnest said.
That almost certainly will not happen, however, given the uniform cheering for the decision from Republican leaders in Congress, including Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio, who continues to back repeal of the Affordable Care Act.
Boehner called the court decision “a victory for religious freedom and another defeat for an administration that has repeatedly crossed constitutional lines in pursuit of its Big Government objectives.”
The more likely route is for the president to deploy his “pen” and restore the benefits via a tweak to the regulations. But Earnest said it’s too early to know what options the president will have in that regard if Congress does not act.
“Frankly, we’re still assessing the decision and its legal implications. We’re also assessing what practical implications there are from this decision, including what companies are actually covered by the Supreme Court decision,” Earnest said.
Senate Democrats also pledged to “fight” to restore the benefits, legislatively or otherwise.